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Yellowtail Damselfish


Yellowtail Damselfish, Chrysiptera parasema

The Yellowtail Damsel is also known as the Yellowtail Blue Damselfish, the Yellowtail Demoiselle and the Goldtail Demoiselle.  It is confused in naming with the Azure Damselfish (Chrysiptera hemicyanea), which is yellow in the pectoral and anal fins, but not in the tail. The Yellowtail comes from the central and western Pacific, including the Red Sea. It is bright blue, with a yellow tail that fades to clear at the edges.  Yellowtail Damselfish, Chrysiptera parasema

Yellowtail Damsels are very popular and are a good beginnerís fish. They eat a wide range of foods, withstand poor water conditions, are disease resistant and they are inexpensive. They are often used as the first fish introduced to a new tank. A tank of at least 100 gallons is recommended, but it is possible to keep a single Yellowtail in a smaller tank if there arenít many other inhabitants. Although Yellowtails are among the least aggressive damsels, they still should be provided with plenty of hiding places and kept either alone or in groups of 4 or 5 in a large tank to reduce aggression.

The Yellowtail is an omnivore. It will eat vegetable matter, spirulina, flake foods and mysis shrimp. The Yellowtail is also reef safe, as it will ignore invertebrates and feed on zooplankton and algae. Feedings should be made in small amounts several times per day.

Yellowtail Damsel, Chrysiptera parasema

The Yellowtail has been bred in captivity. Males are usually larger and more slender. When ready to breed, the male becomes very aggressive toward the females and the mating ritual usually occurs in the early morning. An open clam shell is a good location for depositing the hundreds of adhesive eggs. The male is responsible for cleaning the area and guarding the eggs. It does so vigorously against all intruders. The fry hatch in about a week. They are very small and will be sucked in to running filters, so a tank where these can be shut off is necessary. The fry should be raised on rotifers (produced in the green water of rotting vegetables). The use of brine shrimp during the first month is not recommended. Within a month, the fry will take on the blue coloring, including the yellow tail. Yellowtails can live more than 5 years in an aquarium.

Scientific Name: Chrysiptera parasema
Family: Pomacentridae
Care: Easy
Temperature: 23 - 29 C; 74 - 84 F
pH: 8.0 - 8.4
dH: 8 - 12
Specific Gravity: 1.020 - 1.030
Size: 8 cm; 3 inches
Breeding: Egg Layer
Life Span: 5 years
Crustacean Safe: Yes
Coral Safe: Yes


Suitable tank mates include small Angels, Blennies, Rabbitfish, Yellow Tang.